Your fans are super thrilled to be returning to the world of Nevernight. How much did you enjoy writing Godsgrave? Did knowing how many people were waiting for the second book make it easier (or harder) to write?
The second book in a trilogy is typically the trickiest to write. A trilogy is like building a sandcastle at the beach. First book sets it up. Third book smashes it down. Second book often doesn't know what to do with itself and wanders about while its ice cream melts in its hand.
was a different beast, it knew exactly what it wanted to be. Maybe it was all the Red Bull I was drinking during the drafting stages, maybe I just love the spectacle of ancient Rome and the gladiatorial combat that inspired the book. But yes, it was great fun to write.
readers could safely be described as fanatical - I've never done a series that has generated so much fanrt, cosplay, tattoos(!!!). But knowing how much my readers were looking forward to the second book just made me art harder.
If you only had a single sentence to encourage people who’ve never ventured into the Nevernight world to start reading it, what would you say?
I'd probably quote the wonderful Robin Hobb
, author of the Farseer Trilogy. She described the series as "Just like Hogwarts, but with a lot of violence and sex." Sums everything up quite well.
Where did the original spark of inspiration for Nevernight come from?
A drunken debate between two of my friends on New Year's Eve. The seeds of that debate became the genesis of Mia as a character. Inspiration comes from everywhere!
You were writing Godsgrave while Obsidio, the third and final instalment of the Illuminae trilogy, was also being finalised. How did you manage to keep the two worlds separate?
Even when working on multiple projects (which I seem to do all the time now) I try to allocate large chunks of uninterrupted time to a single project. A lot of Godsgrave
was written while Obsidio
was in edits. It's a juggling act, but I find working on multiple books at once is good for my head space - if I'm stuck on one book, I can work on the other while still subconsciously crunching problems on the first.
Yes. My brain is odd. I'm aware.
What are you currently working on?
I'm putting the final touches on LIFEL1K3, which is a new series I'm launching May 2018. It's a post-apocalyptic YA trilogy, which we're describing as "Fury Road meets Bladerunner, with a little bit of Romeo and Juliet thrown in".
I'm also working on a new series with Amie Kaufman, my partner in crime on the ILLUMINAE FILES. It's called THE ANDROMEDA CYCLE, and starts in 2019. it's basically the Breakfast Club goes to Starfleet Academy.
Although Nevernight and Godsgrave are skewed to a slightly older audience than the Illuminae trilogy, you are hugely popular with young adult readers and many of them have read NN and GG. Do you write differently for different audiences, knowing that many readers will crossover to adult books?
There's less cursing in my YA books - which isn't to say teenagers don't curse. But some librarians and teachers have problems with the idea that they do, and don't like to stock books that might serve as some kind of "how to" guide. Which is all very strange to me because the best cursers I've met are teenagers.
But no, I don't talk down to my younger readers. They're some of the sharpest people I know. The idea that teens can't deal with complex concepts or "mature" themes has never really sat well with me. I started reading Stephen King when i was 10 years old, and the sky didn't fall down.
What are some of your favourite novels from 2017?
Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor
A Plague of Giants
by Kevin Hearne
by Marie Lu
Now I Rise
by Kiersten White
This Mortal Coil
by Emily Suvada